2013 . 1992 . 2003 . 2005 . 2006 . 2012

 

A statue is toppled. An event staged and a flag covers a face. Fixed firmly on the pedestal, the feet still stand as a petrified image. 12 heroes rise to the Gold. An event on the world stage and a flag covers the logo on their tracksuits. Don’t ask what bullets we have in our guns they say.

History as sport, complete with freeze-frames, instant replays and reverse angles: time feels like forever. The decades separating the release of Air Jordan sneakers, the frantic instant where two shoes become projectiles aimed at an occupying president:  flying kisses from a people to a hound.

 

The company that illuminates stadiums also floods the prisons and the migrant detention centres. The drone of an electric charge, lights on fields, lights that surveil. Look at the lights. A child over a fence: a spark then a flame. A strange portal to another dimension is opened where all of the children are electrified. All of them, past and future.

 

Words are sometimes harsher than acts. You hear them once, you hear them twice, and when you hear them a third time…

 

 

 

Installation views

 

 

 

 

Rags, 2013, Praise, 2013

 

 

 

Parting Kisses, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At every sunset, I think of you. Not because of some sense of beauty, but simply because I become acutely aware of how much time has passed since I last saw you, 2013

 

 

 

How Great You Are O Son of the Desert!, Part I, 2013

 

 

 

HAMBURG - Sfeir-Semler Gallery is happy to announce the opening on Friday, the 1st of November,

6-9 pm, of the debut solo show by Lebanese artist Haig Aivazian.

 

Haig Aivazian (b. 1980, Beirut, Lebanon) is an artist, curator and writer. Using performance, video, drawing, installation and sculpture, his work weaves together personal and geo-political, micro and macro narratives in its search for ideological loopholes and short circuits. Aivazian holds an MFA from Northwestern University and is a Skowhegan alumni (2011).  His work has been exhibited in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East including the Sharjah Biennial 9 (2009) and Videobrasil (2013).

 

For this exhibition, Aivazian presents new sculptures, drawings and videos from his ongoing series Fugere, where the artist layers various histories of violence: from a highly televised rebuttal in response to racist insults on the pitch, to the occupation of inner-city neighbourhoods by police; and from the ascension onto an Olympic podium in the first post Soviet Games, to the weight of a dictator’s body as the trap door is released under his feet. History is not just entangled in sports, but also treated like a match, with freeze frames, replays and reverse angles. Here, the notion of time is malleable: the decades separating the release of two models of coveted basketball sneakers can be condensed into a frantic instant where two shoes are hurriedly thrown at an occupying president. These captured moments mark points of analysis that activate the spectator and hero alike, bringing the previously anonymous to the fore and making intimate the distant landscapes of spectacle often utilized in both the political and sports arenas. These arenas serve as a theater – a space where desires, violence, escapism, and the human condition are endlessly played out without the pretense of imaginary consequences. This landscape is where the works take their evocative form, revealing fleeting lapses in the standard perception of events and forming new investigative relationships.

 

Oversize charcoal drawings of stadium lights intensify the eerie charge of the unknown and the latent in night, sport and surveillance. In an Iteration of the ongoing video project How Great You Are O Son of the Desert!  the infamous headbutt of Zinedine Zidane of the Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final in 2006 becomes a time portal into systemic social transgression, class warfare, and violence across histories both intimate and regional. Parting Kisses, presentsa set of hand crafted bronze sculptures of petrified historical gestures, monumentalized and reduced. Icons of the conquered and conquering come together, blurring the notions of the heroic and finally the arena itself.

 

The exhibition runs from the 2nd of November until the 5th of January 2014. For more information, please contact galerie@sfeir-semler.com